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Archive for July, 2009

Law enforcement steps up attempt to stop local gang crimes

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

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Whether it is a drug deal or gang related crimes, neighbors in areas surrounding the Creekwood Housing Project said there always seems to be suspicious activity.

Wilmington Police said crimes like drug deals, property damage and prostitution often stem back to some sort of gang affiliation. The WPD, along with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up to crack down.

“In New Hanover County we have all the nationally affiliated gangs that you see in movies, Bloods, Cryps, and Latin Kings,” said Jon Paul Guarino of the NHC Gang Task Force.

WPD’s Tyler O’Donnell added, “We see a heavy influx of gang activity in those areas. We try to interact with these folks, get out, make contact, and identify who are our problem players.”

One neighbor we spoke with said she often sees people up and down her street, peering in cars or lingering. She usually sees more than person at a time.

“They’re together in groups, they’re committing crimes in groups, they have a common identifier such as a band, bandana or identifier,” said O’Donnell.

Law enforcement said lingering in groups is often a sign of gang activity. As of December 2008, recruiting or willfully joining a gang is against the law in our state. Law enforcement agencies said the leaders of these gangs try to recruit younger kids at local schools, because juveniles don’t incur the same punishments as adults.

“The easiest thing for us to do is to identify your hard core leaders, and you have to remove them from the picture, because they’re the leaders, they’re the ones who really motivate these kids,” said Guarino. “And then on top of that, show them an alternative means to the gang activity, to draw them away from it.”

Detectives said some gangs are territorial. They hang out in certain areas of the city and county.

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videoViolent crime in our area is often associated with gang activity. According to law enforcement, most of the major gangs are here. Wilmington Police and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department Gang Task Force met Tuesday in an attempt to ratchet up the fight.

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CFCC Fast Track program aims to give daytime workers more options

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

By Chelsea Kellner,Chelsea.Kellner@StarNewsOnline.com

For workers on the day shift, earning a degree can mean a scheduling conflict where work always wins.What would have been a two-year degree balloons into five years or more, as non-traditional students cram classes into already tight schedules.

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Lawmakers put together measures to help those with diabetes

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

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Once a month, Pender Memorial Hospital brings together those who have been diagnosed with diabetes for a diabetes support group. It is a chance to share their experience dealing with the disease. “I’ve learned how to eat better, to eat more vegetables, less meat, and less carbs. I’ve learned a lot,” said Ella West.

Most are battling Type II diabetes, the most common form where the body fails to properly use insulin. The support group makes up only a fraction of those who are fighting the disease. 600,000 others across the state have been diagnosed and many others suffer from diabetes without knowing.

“It’s really imperative that diabetics teach other diabetics and take a more active roll,” said local podiatrist Dr. Robert O’Malley. “I think seminars like this are great because there are a lot of people who have diabetes and don’t even know they have diabetes.”

This week, Senator Kay Hagan proposed the Better Diabetes Care Act to push more preventive measures in the state. Measures like rating how the state is educating the public and delivering care by using a state report card, requiring more training for physicians before they can get board certified, and tracking diabetes as the cause of death on certificates which will point more funding toward diabetes programs.

The Better Diabetes Care Act is currently reviewed by a health education committee.

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videoFor most, being diagnosed with diabetes can be a tough pill to swallow. Thousands across the state battle the disease and lawmakers are trying to help.

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World War II veterans help sculpt our nation’s future

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

By Si CantwellSi.Cantwell@StarNewsOnline.com

Wilbur Jones wants as many World War II veterans as possible to know about an event being held in their honor on Sept. 12.

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Smartphones and company vanity numbers

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

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An appealing feature of smartphones and Blackberries are key pads. They are laid out like a computer keyboard, making it easy to text and send e-mails, but harder to detect a “vanity number” or phone word.

For example, Mako and Associates uses the vanity number 1-888-SUE-MAKO. Without deciphering each letter, Justin Tipton doesn’t know what number it is. “The letters don’t correspond to it like a normal phone,” he said.

Manny “Papageek” from Geeks in a Flash found a solution. “You can hold the shift key down on many of them, and dial the regular words to it, and it will automatically figure out what the number is,” he said.

Papageek said just because phones have changed, doesn’t mean advertisers should stop using vanity numbers, but when possible, they should spell out the letters in numeric form and advertise their local number as well. That way they are covering the bases for everyone’s phone. “It can’t hurt at all, but don’t bank on it. One of the cool things to do now is if you get a vanity number, and you get a matching website, that is very powerful,” Manny said.

1-800-Flowers does this by corresponding their telephone number to their website, 1-800-flowers.com.

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videoBusinesses have often gravitated towards toll free numbers like 1-800-Flowers and 1-800-Contacts, so that people can easily remember the number to dial when they need to place an order. WWAY’s Hailey Winslow lets us know why that trend is changing.

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